Comparison of Audio Input Types - Optical, Coax, and Composite

Optical and Coax 

Optical and Coax are two available options to carry higher quality audio signals.  When looking at the back of your cable box or AV receiver, Optical is a square type connection when Coax is a more traditional looking orange plug.  Both carry digital audio signals and are considered of very similar quality.  High-tech audio junkies might argue that they like one more than the other, but most people won’t notice a difference.  Now, your devices might perform better with one or the other, so it may be worth it to try both if you ave the options. 

Both Optical and Coax cables can be purchased on Newegg for less than $10 – don’t be fooled into paying $40–$50 at a retail store!

Composite Audio

Composite audio is the Red and White plugs that are found on all but the oldest devices.  I have found composite audio to be a good option.  While Composite might not be as good option as either Optical or Coax, not all devices have those options.  If you only have Composite available to you, I believe you will be happy with the quality.  

Composite cables can be found in many places for under $10 – I think most people have a collection of these built up over the years!